The Jungle Book is definitely part of the public domain, but chances are most think of it as one of Disney's animated classics, thanks to the 1967 film most saw as kids. Disney probably recognizes this as well, and as they've been busy developing live-action versions of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty aka Maleficent, they've begun gathering the "bare necessities" to bring The Jungle Book to the silver screen.
Justin Marks, who drafted David Fincher's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, has been hired to begin penning an adaptation of Kipling's 19th century collection of stories centered on Mowgli, a young boy raised in the jungle by animals. While Disney has a leg up on notoriety thanks to the previous film, they will face some stiff competition from Warner Bros., who are developing their own live-action film from Harry Potter scribe, Steve Kloves.
Disney has been trying to get The Jungle Book right for awhile, releasing a live-action film in 1994 that starred Cary Elwes and Jason Scott Lee. And then there was the 1998 straight-to-DVD The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story, which featured the oddball cast of Earth Kitt, Clancy Brown, Stephen Tobolowsky, and Fred Savage. As you probably guessed, it's pretty terrible. [THR]